France move back into the top five
© Getty Images

The December edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking reflects the results of 71 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifying matches in the European zone over the past four months, along with numerous friendly matches, mostly involving Asian sides.

The leading pack of four remain unchanged, but France (5th, up 1) have leapfrogged over Sweden (6th, down 1) and both are now within ten points of 4th-placed Brazil, who risk dropping out of the top five for the first time since June 2007. Coincidentally, France have equalled their highest-ever position and Sweden their lowest.

The most notable event in the top ten is the steady rise of Norway (8th, up 2), who have reached this position for the first time since November 2010. Germany meanwhile have edged five points closer to the USA who still remain 72 points clear at the top. Another significant improvement over the past months has been that of Switzerland (22nd, up 3). Thanks to their two away wins in Iceland (19th, down 4) and Denmark (13th, down 1), the Swiss have now reached their highest-ever position in the ranking.

While Spain (15th, up 2) and New Zealand (16th, up 3) continue to climb, 27 other teams have achieved their best-ever position, and South Africa (50th, up 1) have entered the Top 50 for the first time. The biggest climber was Israel (55th, up 6), whose two qualifying match wins over Malta (87th, up 1) and Serbia (44th, down 1) are reflected in their highest-ever ranking. Four teams, all from Oceania, have dropped out of the ranking due to a lack of activity, while Indonesia (68th) and Swaziland (112th) have returned to the list.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 28 March 2014.

Leader

USA (unchanged)

Moves into top ten

None

Moves out of top ten

None

Matches played in total

130

Most matches played

Hungary (8)

Biggest move by ranks

Israel (55th, up 6)

Biggest drop by ranks

Greece (65th, down 7)

Newly ranked teams

Indonesia (68th, 1330 points)
Swaziland (112th, 860 points)

Teams that are no longer ranked

4 - Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu